STARKVILLE, MS (WAFB) - Senior Sandra Simmons turned one mistake by SEC Pitcher of the Year Kesley Nunley into a game-winning three-run homer in the fifth inning, and 7th-seeded LSU softball knocked off 2nd-seeded Kentucky 3-1 at the SEC Tournament quarterfinals in Starkville, Mississippi Thursday afternoon.
LSU (44-14) had been shut out in all three regular season losses to the Wildcats at Tiger Park, but after starter Megan Prince allowed singles to Amber Serrett and Emily Griggs to start the top of the fifth, Wildcats coach Rachel Lawson brought in her ace, and the first batter she faced took a 1-1 pitch over the right field fence to send Kentucky (43-12) home from the single elimination event.
"It's a big deal for us to get a win against them, especially after the regular season, and I think it'll do a lot for our team going forward," said LSU coach Beth Torina. Tigers starting pitcher Carley Hoover picked up her second victory of the tournament, allowing just one run on three hits. The Wildcats scratched across a run in the bottom of the seventh before Hoover retired senior Sylver Samuel on a foul pop up to catcher Kellsi Kloss with the tying run at the plate.
LSU advances to the SEC Tournament semifinals to face 3rd-seed Tennessee at 2:00pm Friday, with the television coverage moving over from the SEC Network to ESPNU.